Calabarzon workers' wages to increase on September 24, 2023

By Nimfa Estrellado Workers of a rice warehouse in the Philippines (Photo from  Cocoy Aguilar) CALAMBA CITY, Laguna - The Regional Trip...

By Nimfa Estrellado

Calabarzon workers' wages to increase on September 24, 2023
Workers of a rice warehouse in the Philippines (Photo from Cocoy Aguilar)

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna - The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB IV-A) has approved a wage increase for private sector workers in order to address rising living costs and ensure that workers in Calabarzon can meet their basic needs.

This decision comes after careful consideration of the current economic conditions and the need to provide fair compensation for labor. The wage increase will help alleviate financial burdens and improve the quality of life for workers in Calabarzon.

In a published WO IVA-20 on September 8, 2023, granting a P35–P50 increase in the daily minimum wage of workers in private establishments in Calabarzon, the RTWPB cited decision was reached after careful consideration of economic factors and extensive consultations with labor groups and employers in the region.

It raises the new minimum wage rate in Region IV-A to P385–P520 for non-agriculture, P385–P479 for agriculture, and P385 for retail and service establishments employing no more than 10 workers. The increase in the daily minimum wage is expected to improve the living conditions of workers in Calabarzon and provide them with more equitable compensation for their labor.

There shall be no tranches of basic wage adjustments under this wage order, according to RTWPB IV-A. Instead, the wage order aims to provide a fixed and uniform increase in the basic wage for all covered employees in Region IV-A.

The Board, composed of representatives from the government, management, and labor sectors, held a series of public hearings on Aug. 7 in Batangas, Aug. 9 in Cavite, and Aug. 11 in Laguna, and wage deliberations on Aug. 16, 18, 23, and Sept. 1, 2023.

Carmona City in Cavite Province and Calaca City in Batangas Province will receive an additional P89 per day on top of their minimum wage rates due to the operation of the law triggering area reclassification and its subsequent wage rate upgrading in the agriculture wage matrix.

This wage order will go into effect fifteen (15) days after it is published, or on September 24, 2023, according to Section 8 of theWage Order.

Employers are required to comply with the provisions stated in this order, including the minimum wage increase and any other changes related to wages and working conditions. Failure to adhere to these regulations may result in penalties and legal consequences for non-compliant employers.

An official copy of this wage order shall be made available at the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board's Calabarzon office for public viewing and reference. Additionally, a digital version of the wage order will be uploaded on the official website of the RTWPB and other relevant government websites for easy access and dissemination.

The pay order, on the other hand, is likely to benefit the 719,704 minimum wage laborers in the region by guaranteeing that they receive fair and just compensation for their job, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). This salary increase will help to lessen the financial burdens that these workers confront while also contributing to their overall quality of life.

DOLE also emphasizes the importance of employers complying with the pay order to ensure a more equitable and sustainable labor market.

Businesses that pay the mandated minimum wage can promote better employee welfare and foster a more harmonious working environment, while those that do not can be reported by their employees for any violations or noncompliance with the pay order to further protect their rights and interests, according to the DOLE.

It was noted that about 1.6 million full-time wage and salary workers earning above the minimum wage may also indirectly benefit as a result of upward adjustments at the enterprise level arising from the correction of wage distortion.

The National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) upheld the wage order and underlined the significance of equal and fair compensation for all workers. The NWPC also noted the good economic impact of this wage hike, which will stimulate consumer spending and foster economic growth.

The new rates represent a 9 to 11 percent increase over the region's current daily minimum wage rates, as well as a comparable 23 percent increase in wage-related benefits such as 13th-month pay, service incentive leave, and social security benefits such as SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG.

Retail and service establishments regularly employing no more than 10 workers, as in any wage order, and enterprises affected by natural or man-made disasters may apply to the RTWPB for exemption from the wage increase.

According to Republic Act No. 9178 [2002], barangay microbusiness enterprises (BMBEs) are not covered by the minimum wage law.

The RTWPB can also be approached via email at for exemption applications and more clarifications on the wage order.

While the wage adjustment in Calabarzon was approved, other regions with petitions for minimum wage increases are in various stages of consultation and are carefully and meticulously analyzing the socioeconomic situation in their individual regions in collaboration with other government authorities, according to the RTWB.

These regions examine things like the cost of living, inflation rates, and the influence on local businesses and industries. The goal is to make any wage increases equitable and sustainable for both workers and companies in each location. The RTWPBs make the choice to issue a wage order or resolution based on their mandate under Republic Act 6727, often known as the Wage Rationalization Act.
The RTWPB can also be reached via email at for exemption applications and more clarifications on the wage order.The RTWPB can also be reached via email at for exemption applications and more clarifications on the wage order. (with reports from Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board IV-A)


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